Connection and Community – Body Image and Discovering Self-Compassion, Part Two.April 21, 2015
GUEST POST BY: Jodi Strock
Last month, Lauren Eckstrom and I ran a beautiful two-day workshop that focused on body image and self-compassion. The weekend was a sweet journey of exploring the meaning of self-compassion as it applies to body-image and otherwise.
As a therapist, talk therapy is the main support my clients seek from me. I offer meditation, guided inquiry, and silent reflection. However, I believe that there are so many modes of healing that don’t get utilized in a traditional therapy session. The Body Image and Self-Compassion workshop was created to offer psychotherapy concepts, but also yoga, meditation, breathing, creative activities, mindful eating, dyads, inquiry, laughter, counsel, and perhaps most importantly, community.
I am pleased to report that the sharing and depth of vulnerability that occurred among those who attended opened space for self-compassion to be born. I have found throughout both my personal and professional journey that struggling with body image can be incredibly isolating. I believe that many of us seek stories about another’s struggle because we yearn to know we are not alone. We yearn for connection. It is through connecting with another’s story and seeing pieces ourselves in in that story that we can begin to transfer the empathy we are feeling towards the other to feeling compassion for the self.
Through my own journey and work in self-inquiry, I started becoming very interested in the paradox of doing the exact thing that creates the thing I want to stop. (In my case, anxiety and self-doubt.) As I educated myself in this paradox I began to deepen my training in Humanistic Spirituality, an approach to psychotherapy created by my father-in-law, Robert Strock. Through this approach I deepened my self-compassion practice. Over time, this filtered into how I held myself in the moments where my inner-critic was turning its attention to my body – my strong, beautiful, healthy body. Over time, instead of resigning to the grips of my critic, I began to hold a space for the part of me that suffered when the critic arose. And I started to contemplate, “I am the one holding space for my suffering.”
I am so excited about this work because not only has it transformed my relationship to myself and with others, but I have had the pleasure of helping many individuals do this work and watch it do the same for them. Unfortunately though, one hour a week of counseling limits people from getting an experience of yoga, meditation, breathing, creative outlets, mindful eating, counsel and connecting with others in the same boat.
I felt inspired and compelled to create a workshop where the work of learning how to be more compassionate towards self can bridge into one’s relationship with his or her body.
Bringing Lauren into the workshop completed my vision, as she is such a uniquely talented, strong, beautiful woman. We worked hard to create the Body Image and Self-Compassion Workshop and we look forward to doing it again in the near future.
Jodi Strock, L.M.F.T., Humanistic Spirituality Counselor is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist whose practice includes working with individuals, couples and families. Jodi is trained in the Humanistic Spirituality approach and has a private practice in West Los Angeles. She uses mindfulness, meditation, inquiry, and other modalities to help her clients deepen their personal development.